Cultivating spaces for extraordinary artists

Prostest Art: A Response to the Pandemic.

In 2020, during the Lockdown, DASH invited artists, both professional and non-professional to submit work for an online exhibition of Protest Art.

This was an opportunity to creatively comment on the short comings both before and during the pandemic. What needs to be addressed? What needs to change?

View the exhibition on our Gallery Page.

Exhibition Artists:

Saverio Cantoni
Saverio is inspired by manipulating perceptions, altering the well-known sensorial sphere to develop awareness towards more inclusive and tolerant narratives. Being a disabled artist himself, he started from personal experiences to explore a connective cultural exercise.​​​​​​​

Richard Downes
Richard is an emerging socially engaged activist poet who also uses photography. He is an associate artist with Disability Arts Online, Poet in residence at Hornsey Town Hall facebook Group, facilitator of a poetry group at The Highgate Society and Curator of poetry events at Collage Arts.

His work is about his personal experience of disability, a response to the social model of disability and ideas of forming and working with communities.

You can find out more about Richard and view more of his work using the links below.

Richard also has 2 poems featured on the DASH Blog page:
Acorn The Fire Goes Out Then it Burns Again and Declaration14 - Insane Asylums for the Politically Mad

Disability Arts Online​​​​​​​

Finn is profoundly Deaf and was born with a degenerative eye condition. While sighted, he studied at the London International Film School. With his passion for story-telling, he studied a Masters in computer animation. Because he is now Blind, he changed career path to become a conceptual artist.

In 2017/18 Finn was a recipient of DASH mentoring project, Cultivate, for disabled artists in West Midlands and was mentored by Senior Research Fellow David Prytherch PhD, FHEA, HFGE; a glass engraver/sculptor, who introduced Finn the subject of haptic (touch) interfaces. Dash matched Finn with artist Dean Melbourne, who continues to mentor Finn and network him into the West Midlands Visual Arts scene.

Finn is currently commissioned for an R&D project by National Arts Award for Deaf and Disabled artists, Unlimited to develop a virtual fish tank that the user explores using HaloLens and Haptic technology. Finns research is timely given that the current situation means we've suddenly lost the freedom to 'touch'.

CL Gamble
Organiser and workshop leader of Blanket Fort.

Blanket Fort is an ongoing participatory project which aims to create a protective & comforting space to people, a structure to celebrate solidarity among activists, survivors and anyone who would like to take part! Details and galleries can be found at​​​​​​​

The Staying Inn is a virtual pub started to provide community, workshops & entertainment such as pub quizzes during lockdown. With an eye on Disability activism & inclusion, the Staying Inn is raising funds to continue providing events for Disabled people still shielding.

Community members featured on The Staying Inn panel so far:

Purple and Blue, small denim patch:
Twitter: Stedders1975

Blackwork sampler: Anne
Twitter & Instagram: @steelgoldfish

Colourful Crossed Crutches: Daisy Holder - The Chronic Invalid.
Twitter: @DaisyHolder
Instagram: @HolderDaisy

Nothing About Us Cross stitch by Marie:

Ruth Hamblett
Ruth was diagnosed with her disability later on in life, she felt often that this world is a cruel place where rules change for those with concealed disabilities.

During her lifetime she has seen lots change for women but there is still the need for equality regardless of age. (Most art opportunities are ageist and aimed at younger people or those who have just finished university).

A mature, emerging or newly formed artists are being asked to pay to enter art opportunities then not given any type of feed back about their art work and how to improve or why it was rejected this that causes lack of confidence.

Ruth also sees discrimination in use of technology for a new modern way of those who have money to make art, but, for those on low incomes, that person is prevented from fully engaging within a computerised society. Including up-to-date computers, laptops, mobile phones and are unable to engage with IT such as Insgram, Etsy, Twitter or newly formed Zoom to promote and possibly sell their art.

Alan Hopwood
​​​​​​​The work in the exhibition started out as an information leaflet from a mainstream art gallery. Alan used various methods to transform it. Exploring and exploiting the flaws and limitations within various image making processes, such as printing; photography and digital media.

Alan has used the visual opportunities to change this mainstream art leaflet into something that talks about his life as a disabled person and an image that has a relationship with the disability arts movement.

Alan has been on the DASH mentoring programme with and is involved in Disability Arts Online.
Twitter: @alanhopwood

Mark Noble
2020 has been a difficult and often overwhelming year. As a creative artist with autism and severe dyslexia, Mark struggles to communicate with words. Instead, he uses art as a visual language and firmly believes that it can play an important role in helping people deal with mental health issues.​​​​​​​

Ceridwen Powell
Ceridwen is a disabled and disability artist based in Llanfair Caereinion, Montgomeryshire, Mid-Wales. She has had no formal art training, but instead experiments with ideas and materials and takes an instinctive approach. She is an abstract artist and enjoys working in acrylics, oils and watercolour, and also digital photography.

Joy Turner
Joy was motivated to make it after seeing similar notices whenever she attended appointments.